The trucking industry has a truck for just about every industry and application and manufacturers are getting cleverer about how they address particular niches. The number of available body types makes it possible to get the perfect truck for almost any job, and the chassis and engines are becoming more and more specialised to deliver the best performance in a particular market segment. One truck type that has been around for a long time but is not yet as popular as would be supposed is the demount, but that could be changing.
The demount is a simple but clever concept that is all about maximising the productivity of the truck. As the technology around fuel consumption and emissions matures, and gains become smaller, operators may have to turn to other areas in order to make their fleet more productive and the demount truck system just might provide an answer. The system is surprisingly simple. The bodies of the demount truck are, as the name suggests, demountable. Typically they stand on legs when disconnected from the truck. This allows the bodies to be loaded at standard loading bays independently of the truck. So when the driver arrives in the morning for his shift, he can simply hook up with a pre-loaded body and set out to make his deliveries.
This has the potential to be a much more efficient system than the standard way of doing things. For a start, the warehouse manager need not wait around for the truck driver in order to get started loading his trucks. He can load up the bodies any time that suits him, saving on potential overtime, and he needn’t have staff waiting around to load trucks. Even the ease with which he can deploy his own resources without coordinating with drivers will make his job simpler and more efficient. During the working day, the truck simply goes about its business but when the body is empty and the driver returns to the depot, more efficiency gains are made.
Instead of backing into a loading bay and waiting for his truck to be loaded up, the driver simply hooks up to an already loaded body and hits the road. Clearly, this could make it possible for a single truck to achieve many more deliveries during a working day. The demount also makes loading bays far more efficient. Instead of each loading bay being under-utilised when the trucks are out on their deliveries, and then suddenly inundated when they return, each bay can maximise its workload, loading demount bodies and then moving on to the next without waiting for the truck. In the evening, trucks can be hooked up to full bodies, ready to depart immediately in the morning.
Properly managed, a demount fleet could make substantial savings over standard trucks. The faster turnarounds mean that the demount operator can make more deliveries per day, but there is also an increase in versatility and a possible reduction in the need for specialised trucks. Each truck can be hooked up to many different demount bodies, such as flat bed, refrigerated or curtain side. This means that all of these types of operation can be achieved without buying different trucks for each. Adding bodies instead of trucks is cheaper and reducing the size of a fleet while delivering more could be the ultimate in efficiency.